How To Create And Manage A Messenger Chatbot For Your Facebook Business Page
So your business has a chat feature on its website’s homepage. That’s great! After all, it is 2019 and if you don’t have chat on your website, you’re a little behind.
For those of us who have added chat to our site, it’s easy to see the benefits. Not only does it give your audience a different way to interact with you, but chat lets you collect data, capture leads and gives extra bandwidth for easy FAQs.
But just because you have chat on your site doesn’t mean you should stop there! Facebook has decided to raise the bar and allow businesses to add chatbots directly to their pages.
If you’re a little lost when it comes to Facebook chatbots, don’t stress. We’ve got you covered! To learn what a chatbot is, how to create and maintain it—all while boosting your Facebook marketing—you’ve gotta keep reading below!
So… What’s A Chatbot?
A chatbot is an automated, electronic method of communication between your audience and your business. Facebook Messenger chatbots are a valuable tool that your business should be taking advantage of. You can track data, gather leads and interact with users through automated responses.
A chatbot can be set up in two ways: either menu-guided or through artificial intelligence (AI).
The more simple option is menu-guided. This allows users to “click” on prompts that you have provided, which then results in a preset answer.
AI, on the other hand, is triggered by keywords that you have identified within your bot. When AI is activated, users can type specific keywords or phrases into your bot and receive an answer that you have previously specified.
Still with us? Good. But before we go any further, let’s discuss some chatbot lingo.
Let’s Chat About Facebook Messenger Chatbots
Some common chatbot terms you’re going to need to understand are block, card, button and quick reply.
A block is essentially a representation of your bot. Your bot will be made up of multiple blocks, which will then be built into separate cards. You may have a block about pricing, one about services, another about directions and so on.
These blocks are what organize your bot, and keep your information filed in the area where it belongs.
Cards are what contain your preset answers or information within each block. There are four main types of cards you can set up within each block:
A gallery card, or carousel card, allows you to add multiple images that users can swipe through, each with their own heading, subtitle, URL, buttons or quick reply.
A text card is a card with text only, but it can also be built out with buttons or quick reply.
An image card is exactly what is sounds like—an image. You can add a quick reply to an image card, too.
Finally, a plugin card allows you to include integration options such as subscription to email and blogs, or to follow your business on social media.
Buttons are fully customizable, too. They can be linked to a URL, give a number to call, link to another block and more. In a menu-guided bot, buttons are what guide the users through the chatbot experience.
For users who may be confused while using your bot, consider setting up a quick reply. A quick reply can act as a prompt with more information to keep the conversation flowing.
Here’s A Facebook Messenger Chatbot Example To Tie It All Together
When your user navigates to your Facebook page and begins a conversation with your bot, they will first click “Get Started” (this is what allows your bot to collect their public information).
Once they have officially begun the conversation, they will first be greeted with a preset Welcome Message. You may decide to add another card with buttons to ease them into the conversation. Here’s how it could go:
Begin with a welcome message—we suggest making it unique to your company and giving your chatbot a special identity! Our chatbot is named Bloo, because “You’re my boy, Blue!” (two claps if you get the Old School reference). We also decided to go with an alien theme! Here’s what you’ll see when you begin a conversation with the Pinckney chatbot:
This is an example of a menu-guided response. Within this block, there are two cards—one with the initial greeting, and another with a question directed to the user’s first name. The user is prompted to click the “Ask me!” button which then directs them to a second block.
In this block, we have built out multiple cards with separate buttons. If the user were to click the “Pricing” button, the chatbot would direct them to another block about pricing. The same goes for the “Services” and “Marketing Tips” button.
You can also see where we have enabled an AI response. If the user types “menu” at any point, the bot will take them back to the original card where they can click “Pricing”, “Services” or “Marketing Tips” again.
If the user clicks “Bloo Commands” they will be prompted by a different block with AI responses they can enter into the bot.
AI Response Block
Each of these queries will direct the user to a specific block, giving them more information about services, directions, or take them back to the main menu.
Default Message Block
However, your user might type in something the bot doesn’t understand, so it’s important to set up a default message just in case. Here’s an example of Pinckney’s default message:
Here, the user can click “Talk to Alex” where they will receive Alex’s phone number and email address. Alex is our Director of Client Development here at Pinckney, so we wanted to direct our users to him to make sure they get answers to all of their marketing questions.
It seems a little easier now with a few examples, right? Now let’s help you set up your company’s Facebook chatbot!
How To Create Your Own Facebook Messenger Chatbot
There are plenty of online tools you can use to set up your Facebook chatbot. A few that are worth looking into are:
For our bot, we used Chatfuel. Like the others, Chatfuel is a free platform and it’s easy to use—however, feel free to choose whichever platform works the best for you!
In our example though, we are going to show how to set up a Facebook Messenger chatbot using Chatfuel. Let’s do this!
10 Steps To Setting Up Your First Facebook Messenger Chatbot
1. First, create an account on Chatfuel.
2. Login to your Facebook business page and connect it to Chatfuel.
3. Click the “+” button to create a new chatbot. Here, you can either decide to use a preset template created by Chatfuel, or start from scratch.
4. Enter a name for your chatbot and click “Create”.
5. After your bot is created, click “Build” to begin setting it up. This is when you will begin editing your welcome message, default message, adding more blocks, etc.
6. Add different features to each block, such as multiple cards, buttons, images or even a timed card that shows your bot is typing to make it more realistic! To create a new block, simply click “+ Block”.
7. Configure AI responses. We recommend building out responses as much as possible—we’ll talk more about configuring AI below.
8. Once you are satisfied with your bot, click “Test Bot” in the bottom right corner to save your bot.
9. Next, click “View on Messenger” to test it out!
10. Finally, have other people in your company test your new chatbot, too. See what needs more attention, or add new blocks that may have been forgotten about. Test your bot on different devices to see how it works—after all, your users aren’t going to solely use desktop or mobile!
Tips For Setting Up AI
When configuring AI within your chatbot, keep these tips in mind:
- Identify keywords that users may ask your bot. For example, someone might type in “Directions”. Develop a block with directions to your business for AI to direct users to when they type in this keyword.
- Brainstorm FAQs users might ask. Develop the answers within your AI responses.
- Try to be as specific with words and phrases as possible. For example don’t only configure the keyword “services” within your AI in the hopes someone will type in “services” exactly. While you should have the keyword “services” configured, types out queries such as “What are your services” or “What services do you offer”. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for users to interact with your bot.
Going Live With Your Facebook Messenger Chatbot
After you’ve tested your bot, and have it configured to your liking, it’s time to take it live!
Once your bot is published on your page, you can track its progress within Chatfuel in the “Analyze” tab. Here, you can see popular URLs users clicked on, searches that weren’t recognized by AI and more. These analytics will help you continue to develop your chatbot and improve the user experience.
And don’t forget to promote your chatbot to drive users to your page! There are a few ways you can do this:
Facebook Messenger Ads
Promote your bot through targeted Facebook Messenger ads. These will direct users to interact with your bot, which can result in valuable leads for your business and visibility for your bot.
If you don’t know who your targeted audience is, take a moment to read our blog
Add A Messenger Button To Your Website’s Homepage
By adding a Messenger button to your website, you can drive more users to your chatbot. The more users who interact with your bot, the more data and potential leads you’ll be able to collect.
Now you’re ready to create your first Facebook Messenger Chatbot! Put your new-found knowledge to the test—and don’t forget to get creative with it. Your chatbot should be an extension of your company, not just a robot. The more you put into your bot, the more your users (and potential leads!) will enjoy it.
For more tips and tricks for mastering your social media marketing, download our free Social Media Handbook below!
If you need a little more chatbot inspiration, visit our Facebook page and click “Send Message” to put our bot to the test!